John Belt Marriott was a blacksmith by trade. He settled in the little town of Cecilia, 7 miles from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, county seat of Hardin County. Cecilia was on the main Illinois Central railroad line and may have more prominent in this time than ours. He acted as an agent, during the 1860s and 1870s, buying hogs in Hardin County on consignment for his brother in law, F. A. Smith. F.A. Smith operated a large port packing plant, general store and others in Munfordville, Hart County, Key, which adjoins Hardin County.
In the early 1900s, John Marriott and his only remaining son, John Belt build a hardware store in Cecilia and this was in operation until the mid 1950s, operated later years by John Belt's (the son) oldest son, Ralph.
This article appeared in the Elizabethtown Newspaper on 15 Jan 1904
"Mr. John B. Marriott, age 79, the oldest and probably best known citizen of Cecilia, while attempting to cross the railroad in front of some moving cars, was knocked and run over at 8:25 am Tuesday. His right arm was almost severed from his body and crushed into a jelly, several ribs were broken and he had a severe bruise back of the right ear, from which causes death which ensued at 10:03 am. It is supposed he had started to Miller and Horell's store for something as none of his family knew he was on the road. He had not been from the shop, where his son was at work, more than three minutes when the alarm was given. The trainmen, switching the cars, had cut off three cars, and were kicking them in onto the sidetrack. Mr. Marriott was hard of hearing (near deaf) and probably never heard nor saw the cars until he was struck by the front one. The stroke knocked him flat on this back, leaving his right arm over the rail and it is thought that the three cars passed over it. He had a knife, some keys and some money in his right pants pocket and they were mashed to pieces, yet there was only a small bruise on his hip. Dr. Nusz was summoned and was on the spot in a few minutes and did all his power but the shock was too great and his bruises were too severe for assistance to avail much. Dr. Aug was also summoned, but being out of town did not reach his side until a few minutes before his death. Medical assistant could furnish no aid. Death was the only relief.
Mr. Marriott was born in Hardin County October 27, 1824 and for 33 years had made his home at this place (Cecilia). He was a blacksmith by trade and one could do no better work than he. On November 11, 1847 he was married to Miss Amanda E. Smith, sister of the late F. A. Smith. He was the father of six children, four girls and two boys, five of who survive him. Mrs. Maggie Sutzer of Stephensburg, Mrs. Lizzie Long of near Rineyville, Mrs. Hardin Miller near Elizabethtown, Mrs. Frankie Alvey of Louisville and John B. Marriott of Cecilia. His son, Ephraim Marriott, died several years ago.
Mr. Marriott was an uncle to Ephraim and Henry Marriott of nearby Glendale. He as drafted in the Union Army during the Civil War, but furnished a substitute and staid at home. He probably stayed out of the Union Army to avoid family problems as one his wife's relations, William (Billy) Smith was a governor of Virginia under the Confederacy.
Uncle John, as he was know, was one of those old time, generous large hearted men who always had a pleasant word for his friends, and the children loved him because he always had a pleasant smile for them. During his life of 79 years he had surrounded himself with a host of friends who mourn his sad death as that of a dear relative. Mr. Marriott was noted for his rugged honesty and strict truthfulness. He was charitable and kind hearted to an extreme, and in all of his business dealings, fairness and candor were always predominant. He was a most excellent neighbor and was ready to do a favor.
He believed every man should live by the sweat of his brown, and he chose to make his at the forge. For sixty-three years the stroke of his hammer could be heard on the anvil, and he always did honest work. His death removes, from this community its oldest and one of its very best citizens and the horrible way in which it occurred has cast a gloom over the people and let an impression that time cannot blot out.
He leave a wife and five children and a host of the warmest friends, whose hearts are bowed in sorrow and whose hearts are deeply grieved over his sad fate. The funeral services were conducted at the residence of Rev. J.C. Greeman of the Methodist Church in an impressive manner and the remains were interred in the Elizabethtown Cemetery to await the resurrection."
Source:Michael R. Massey <email@example.com> JAMES MARRIOTT OF MARYLAND Text download on 11/23/2001
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